UC expert urges growth in creative computing in NZ
27 May 2013
A leading NZ technology expert and UC academic says it is important creative computing becomes an essential part of the school curriculum and tertiary education programmes.
A leading New Zealand technology expert says it is vitally important that creative computing becomes an essential part of the school curriculum and tertiary education programmes.
University of Canterbury senior teacher education lecturer Wendy Fox-Turnbull says the knowledge age has arrived and New Zealand can no longer continue to rely on primary produce to boost its gross domestic product.
"ICT is an area of huge potential and one in which we can compete on the world stage, and it doesn’t rely on large supplies of natural resources.
"But what is wrong at the moment with technology is that students are not encouraged to enter technology because of out-dated perceptions among students themselves, careers advisors, parents, school management and some teachers.
"Technology is only a recommended subject for careers like engineering and other technology related degrees in polytechnics and universities, rather than being compulsory.
"We need to change the nation's school children to move from being digital consumers to digital creators. We must foster a passion for technology education, change outdated perceptions of ICT and technology education in schools and in the wider education community."
As chair of Technology Education New Zealand (TENZ) and as a senior lecturer in technology education at UC, Fox-Turnbull says there is big money in the ICT world.
A 17-year-old British teen, Nick D'Aloisio, recently sold his Summly app to Yahoo for $nz36 million which, she says, is an inspiration for coming generations of technologically-minded students.
"What we now need, however, is for schools, tertiary institutions and industry based training providers to fully acknowledge and value the skills of students who have achieved in digital technologies," Fox-Turnbull says.
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